Because of Brexit….

The favourite pastime of some economic commentators and broadcasters is to say  such and such a figure about the economy they think is disappointing  is because of Brexit. Often they are wrong to blame the Brexit vote for the figure they do not like. So let’s have a look at some of the figures that must be in their  view owing to Brexit, as they made forecasts of how the Brexit vote would hit these  very figures.

  1. The FTSE 100 Index. Before the vote they said it would fall if we voted Leave. Instead it has risen strongly from 6138 on 24 June to 7687 at the end of 2017. This rise is about the same as the French Index, a bit better than the Italian Index and massively better than the Madrid Index over the same time period.  It is less than the US index.  After the vote when they saw it was rising they shifted their forecast and said it would be the FTSE 250 of more domestic companies that would fall.
  2. The FTSE 250 has instead risen from 16088 on 24 June 2016 to 20726 at end 2017. This is a bigger rise than the FTSE 100 , which they said would only go up owing to its overseas earnings and currency effects. That’s a 29% rise because of Brexit.
  3. House prices. They forecast they would go down. They have risen gently since the referendum vote.
  4. Employment. They said it would fall. It has gone up by  half a million comparing the August to October 2017 figure with first quarter 2016  before the vote.
  5. Unemployment. They said it would rise. It has instead fallen from 1.67 m in the first quarter of 2016 to 1.42 m in the latest ONS figures.
  6. Economic growth. They forecast a recession in the winter of 2016-17. Instead the UK economy continued to report good growth of around 1.8-1.9%.

So we can now say that thanks to Brexit unemployment has fallen, employment has risen, share prices especially for domestic companies have gone up and house prices have risen modestly.

It is true that they forecast a fall in the pound. It did fall against the dollar at first, but has put in a good performance more recently rising 12% off the lows. If it fell because of Brexit presumably it is now rising because of Brexit.

Wouldn’t it be good if forecasters and commentators went back to thinking about what truly moves these  numbers, and come to see the impact of Brexit has been greatly exaggerated. All the reasons why the pound went down or up before Brexit still apply!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Somehow the government needs to get this positive news across more strongly and not allow the media to project such a negative outlook. Perhaps if the likes of Soubry could be more positive and stand behind the decision of referendum the economic news just might be even better. As it is, it’s a good start to the new year.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink


      Perhaps if the likes of Soubry could be more positive

      You are having a laugh, not in her DNA

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and it is far from just Soubry alas.

  2. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Don’t weaken on the pound, for of course, especially given the Export/Import imbalance, who is to say (with all the usual doom and gloom innuendo from the remainiacs), that it has been “bad” that the pound “fell”–Seems clear that it was too high, so that even on that measure Brexit has been beneficial

  3. Jason wells
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    I don’t think anyone was paying attention to these figures before the referdum..the only thing they were listening to was about taking back control..limiting the number of foreigners coming here and 350 on the side of a you can go on spinning out figures any way you like but the real picture of how we are doing now and how we are going to do will only show after we have finally departed the EU in March better hold your breath..i don’t think the EU, for political reasons, is going to deliver the deal that we want and if that is so there are going to be a lot of very disappointed people out there.. which is sure to effect the figures and the stock market as well.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      You seem to have conveniently forgotten all the dire predictions fabricated by your side, some of which terrifying prognostications did not require us to wait until we had actually left the EU before catastrophe descended upon our heads.

      Even the civil servant with main responsibility for devising those works of fiction, since elevated as the unelected legislator-for-life Lord Macpherson of Project Fear, has admitted that some of the horror stories he and his fellows cooked up might have gone a bit over the top and maybe it will be OK after all:

      If I were you I would be utterly ashamed to be associated with such people.

      • John Turnbull
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Are you always so emotional? Maybe you would be happier in Italy.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 4, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Basically after eighteen months I have come to the end of my patience with those who refuse to accept that we had a referendum, as ordained by both Houses of Parliament, and their side had all the advantages including the large scale use of public resources, and yet they lost. The whole electorate, those who voted to leave and those who voted to stay in and even those who did not vote at all, have every right to be angry about the way these people are behaving.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      so you can go on spinning out figures any way you like but the real picture of how we are doing now and how we are going to do will only show after we have finally departed the EU in March better hold your breath..i don’t think the EU, for political reasons, is going to deliver the deal that we want and if that is so there are going to be a lot of very disappointed people out there.. which is sure to effect the figures and the stock market as well.

      Why, why, why are you so negative? Is it not possible for us to be a sovereign country – trading with our neighbours on a friendly basis – without paying £11 billion a year for the privilege?

      I don’t get people like you. It’s almost like Stockholm Syndrome – what happened to you that created the sense of dependency on the EU that you have?

      I’d love to know how many of the 48% voted to Remain because they were scared into it by the establishment. How would they vote now – looking at how helpful and construction the EU are being – and given that the end of the world has not happened.

      I’m in no way nationalistic – I hate patriotism and all that nonsense. But I do thing this is a great country with great people. We are innovative and capable – notwithstanding the attempts of government to strangle business.

      So, why not make a New Year’s Resolution – to be positive. Even if you think leaving the EU was a bad idea, time to face up to it and let’s make a success of it together.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Oops – typos.

        constructive – not construction

        think – not thing

        Shame there is no edit facility – even if just for 5 minutes.

        • R.T.G.
          Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          Mike, not necessarily typos.
          With ipad, go to Settings>General>Keyboard and deselect preferences such as ‘predictive’ and experiment to suit yourself.
          Or google “turn off predictive text”.

          Just a ‘Less Aggravating New Year’ suggestion!

    • NickC
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Jason, We do not want a trade deal with the EU, we want to trade with the EU under existing WTO rules. You need a very long spoon to sup with the EU, and our FCO negotiators have proved over the last 40 years that they don’t have it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        There is good sense in this. If there were sound reasons for thinking that we would be hit hard economically if we had to fall back on trading with the EU on the globally agreed WTO basis, rather than have some kind of special regional trade deal or RTA, then we might feel compelled to keep as close as possible to the EU even though we know from long experience that they simply cannot be trusted. But there are no such sound reasons; it may well be that we, and they, would both suffer some small economic loss if we fell back on the WTO rules for our trade, but it would be a small loss and easily manageable, and moreover could easily turn out to be a gain not a loss.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted January 4, 2018 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        If trading under WTO rules is such a great idea, why are countries so keen to do trade deals?

    • Alexis
      Posted January 3, 2018 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      If you think the EU is the answer to all known ills, cast your vision beyond these shores at the problems faced within other EU countries, and within the legislature itself. Bus or no bus, the EU is has had it. It’s over.

  4. Newmania
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    The pound fell 20% and more reflecting panic at the time of the vote ( mostly before the vote ) . I `d have to look up the figures but borrowing has been allowed to go on years later it was scheduled to reverse by George Osbourne and instead of peaking at 80% of GDP has drifted up t0 90% which is terrifying . ( It is also yet more money the old have stolen form the young in future taxes to pay for their anti-immigrant obsession)
    House prices are now going down and have clearly been squashed by Brexit as have car sales despite Carney being forced to hold down interest rates to zero cancelling the normalisation households had been told to expect
    All in all the drop in confidence in the UK here and abroad has already been exceedingly costly and we are yet to leave the EU . Investment in motor manufacturing has , for example , stopped dead

    Billions have been thrown in the sea on advisers civil servants port arrangements and what not , billions more have been thrown at the EU to beg them to talk to us

    I could go on the tactic of Leave is

    1 Muddy the waters
    2 Pretend it has ”nothing to do with Brexit”

    The UK economy has some strength of course but then it has been benefitting form the arrangements that we have spent decades creati8ng and almost everyone who is actually I business dreads losing

    I am afraid this sort of rubbish is going to wear very thin indeed as pour children see cuts to their schools the NHS is underfunded ,wages fall behind inflation and interest rates have to go up thanks to Brexit

    Can anyone remind what the good thing abouit this idiocy was ?

    • Richard1
      Posted January 4, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      This is really very silly. The pound fell mostly before the vote as you say – at which time a Remain vote was expected, meaning factors such as monetary policy must be more significant. House prices Have drifted lower or flattened (not been “crushed”) due to stamp duty – and haven’t people been banging on for years about how house prices are far too high? House prices in other European countries / cities which have seen a boom are also correcting – Stockholm is an example (no vote to leave the EU there), there is still a budget deficit as you say,but it’s now c 3% of GDP, down from 10% when Labour got kicked out. Could be better but not a disaster. You are simply wrong to say confidence and investment have dried up – the figures show the opposite. I have been surprised how little effect the Brexit vote has had – business performance and confidence seems little changed and in business people talk about business not politics. Employment has continued to grow. Nor it seems is there any present danger of high inflation. Etc etc.

      Of course you can always cast around and find some negative news and blame it on Brexit, but the complete picture is radically different from the terrors of Project Fear, and surely even you must admit to how little negative effect there really is?!

      I suppose the answer to your last question is people voted Leave to take back control of the UK’s money, laws and borders.

  5. Duncan
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    What this national political event has revealed and continues to reveal is something far more sinister, foreboding and deeply troubling for what the UK, and indeed the western world, is morphing or some would say has already morphed into.

    It is the emergence of a political or certainly a politicised elite who believe they can arrange and manage a nation and its people as though they owned them and had divine power over them. Any form of unacceptable dissent is targeted ruthlessly both by the law and with the use of a political strategy designed to slander, tarnish and hopefully destroy the dissenter

    This elite is highly organised, connected and has infected many aspects of a nation’s political, social and economic infrastructure. Their fundamental aim is the concentration of political, economic and social power that enables the transfer of power from one generation to another with democracy acting merely as a veneer and a sop to the masses.

    Brexit and the election of Trump exposed this construct in all its glory. The sustained and brutal attacks on all things Brexit and the organised attempts to undermine Trump represents the most sinister developments in politics I have seen in many a year. It is nothing less than a direct attack on democracy and an attempt to circumvent democracy itself

    I believe that at some point in the future we will see the slow disintegration of democracy as power over the person continues to gravitate towards the centre. At this point the individual will become little more than a chess piece on the chess board of politics. To be moved around at will using the tactics of BBC propaganda, fear inducement, legal powers and public slander.

    I want to see legal powers that allows each person the right to express their views without fear of favour. This shouldn’t be a cultural right but a legal one. People shouldbn’t have to feel threatened when they express their opinions. In today’s Britain they do feel very threatened.

    My party, the Tories, has conspired in this disgraceful attack on individual freedom and liberty. We need a leader who confronts and destroys this illiberal leftist agenda, dismantles it and sweeps it away.

  6. Colin Hide
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Wise words, of course, and ones that will be completely ignored by our MSM, mores the pity.

  7. Mick
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink
    Not only should Mrs May listen to these groups but also the 17.4 million that voted out, let’s just leave right now before any more remoaners come up with something else to overturn or reverse Brexit, we are British and I’m sure we will survive out of the eu club and if the remoaners don’t want to join us then go live in your beloved eu bye bye you’ll not be missed

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      I second that Mick.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      @ Mick

      Well said mate agree with you 100%

    • HenryS
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Mick..if you keep looking out the same window all ofbthe time you’ll see the same things..pls do try to read something else besides the Express..when the reality dawns on all of this brexit mess ..the first ones to head for the hills will be the Express followed by the Mail..somehow or other they will survive..they are only getting by by pandering to the lowest common denominator ie. by selling their old guff..the next few months when the talks resume with Barnier will reveal a lot about where we are really heading

      • Mick
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Sorry to disagree Henry but it’s not just the express or mail I get information from but other outlets, the problem is not all MSM are singing from the same hymn sheet, because I’m retired with no other interest apart from Brexit much to my wife’s annoyance I tend to watch nearly all or anything to do with Brexit on the tv, only today I was watching a recorded debate in Strasbourg about moving to the second stage of negotiations and was surprised to find that the bbc had cut out Ukip and conservative mep giving there view but left in labours

        • stred
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          In this press conference Junker said that he had put a ‘sanction’ on the British PM to be at the meeting by 7am, then she came and negotiated well and gave them the money so that he could talk trade in the next phase. So we have the unelected head of a club, that we pay second only to Holland per head, ordering the British PM to be there and negotiate with the ex-PM of a dukedom the size of Stoke on Trent in order to give him more money to finance his army, youth indoctrination and payments to most other countries like Bulgaria, which is to provide the president of his council next year.

          And our steady and stable jelly baby scuttled over and gave them what they had been extorting in order for them to sell us more than we sell them. Judging by the Christmas Message, she thinks she has done a great job and we will be as happy as she is about it. Bring in the men, or is it persons, in white coats.

      • NickC
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Henry, Your first mistake of many is to assume that opposition to the EU is the work of 5 minutes read of a bit of propaganda in the Express. How do you know that your desire to have my country ruled by unelected foreigners isn’t just as risible?

  8. Mark B
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    All the time we have been in the EEC/EC/EU the economy has gone through its boom and bust cycle. The only one that could have been avoided, but wasn’t, was the ERM fiasco. Twenty five years later you would be amazed to believe the way that, John Major, Michael Heseltine, Douglas Hurd, Ken Clarke MP and of course, Norman Lamont, all stood around dumbstruck as their pet EEC/EC/EU dream of an idea, and testbed for the Euro, all went up in flames as the markets descended on Sterling and ripped it out.

    According to Ken Clarke MP, who gave an interview some five years later, apparently they, Major, Heseltine and Major, were all sitting in a room in Admiralty House (Number 10 being renovated) and where totally oblivious to what was going on. They truly were in the Eye of the Storm, a storm they had created and only succeeded in making worse with their massive interest rate rises.

    As one revisits this catastrophe of both domestic, foreign and economic policy, I find it amazing that no one seems to pick up on some of those above who were intimately involved in the ruination of so

    Unlike LL, I do not seek an apology. But I do think it is high time that more people than just LL go on about it and remind those involved of what they did to the people and this nation all for the sake of their political ideology.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Major, Heseltine and Major = Major, Heseltine and Clarke

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Mark B – I wouldn’t have minded had they stood as the Liberals that they are instead of being fake Conservatives.

        Not one of them exhibited the EU symbol in their campaigns as I recall.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      @ Mark B

      Some like you do keep on about it but who is really listening? The snake oil EU salesmen in all areas of life within the UK have worked their “magic” well over the last 40 years.

    • miami.mode
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      I well remember that fiasco particularly when I heard on the car radio that it was planned to put interest rates up to 15%, subsequently cancelled, and thinking that with the mortgage I had at the time that I would be wiped out financially

      • APL
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        Mark B: “and thinking that with the mortgage I had at the time that I would be wiped out financially”

        Yes. Mine was a mere £47K, but at 15% would have had me on the street. My one time friend did lose his home, his marriage followed shortly after.

  9. Dave Andrews
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    It does beg the question, why are these economic bodies signed up to project fear? Perhaps someone on here can explain why. The IMF, for example, might say that the UK will prosper in or out of the EU if the British people are prepared to work. But no, they trot out this doom and gloom agenda.
    Sure, economic arguments can be made for staying in the EU, but economic forecasters are pursuing a further agenda, the motivation of which is not clear to me.

    • Norman
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I guess, in the global mindset of many of the elite political strategists, a joined-up Europe has a futuristic appeal, which to them, is non-negotiable – a cherished vision that would have, in time, solved so many problems (or so they think). Whereas, they would see our view as a rag-tag of regressive nostalgia etc, likely to lead to national isolation, even conflict within Europe, as in the past. They saw all along, that taking the people with you (nationalism) would be an uphill task; so they had to use various forms of coercion and subterfuge, because democracy on its own would not deliver.
      As for those pesky ‘populist’ Brexiteers, it turned out that many still intuitively valued that something special about our identity, wrapped up, as it is, in our history and culture. This is why the Referendum was such a great victory for that popular wisdom which is so easily dismissed by the ‘worldly wise’.
      So we see this is a deeply rooted ideological battle, not just about facts and figures, but our very identity. The Remainers have no answer to this, other than to stifle it.

    • Lardy-dah
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Politely, they use the same models in making assessments and analyses.
      Factually, they are cowards. They know they are wrong. For anyone who breaks ranks, he has to admit he was incompetent to the whole world, suggest that the ones he leaves remain incompetent and as a result he may not get career advancement in the future.
      The huge mass of The Great Wrongfootedness, IMF, BoE, UK Treasury, stick together as many gooey lipid entities do

    • Ian Dennis
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      The EU funded IMF, the Paris and Brussels based IMF, no idea, can’t think why they would be anti Brexit.

    • getahead
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Dave, economic arguments can be made for staying in the EU but not political or financial ones.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      @ Dave Andrews

      Dave could it be they only have a vacuum in between their ears. Being in the EU akin to a Get Out of Jail card every time they voted on whatever debate you want to name.

    • NickC
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Dave Andrews, Probably a couple of the more significant factors are: the animus of the European establishment to re-create the Roman Empire in (western) Europe; and the support of the USA for the EU so that the loss of more American lives is avoided in what they regard as a possible third European civil war. Then of course follow the money, and the power, down the rotten EU’s rabbit hole.

  10. Nig l
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Agree totally but not holding my breath. Am in Northern France, Bethune looks particularly ‘poor’ outside the Grand Place. A local stall holders tells me that their economy is ‘tres, tres difficile’. The EU and Brexit was inevitably mentioned. He says the French hate it. He admired our courage in deciding to leave. He says the French do not have that courage although he wishes they did.

    Looking at our Remoaners I see that they lack that courage and I would add, are totally risk adverse.

  11. agricola
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    They tell you what they want you to hear, they are selling remain. They are the establishment who by and large wish to remain. It would appear that the disconnect between the aims of Brexit and those of the civil service are so at odds that they have had to be told to speed up their planning for all contingencies because, unsaid, they wish for remain and have delayed planning by omission. This confirms , like the BBC, they are no longer servants of the people and government, but prefer their own agenda, while never taking responsibility for the outcome. Post Brexit there needs to be a re-establishment of exactly what the purpose of the civil service is, what it’s responsibilities and limitations are. Ministers will discover post Brexit that the buck stops with them, the excuse for inaction having been removed.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      It seems to me like this, and you may wish to add your own observation –
      In the days of “Yes, Minister”, the civil service pulled the strings of government, but ministers always knew that Parliament had the power to enact laws according to their requirement.
      Now we are in the EU, the civil service can tell ministers what they please, because they know best and that’s what the EU rules say.
      Once we are out of the EU, the civil service will have to work hard again, and have diminished control, as previously. They don’t like that.

    • stred
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Is there any news on the large lorry park, cameras, computers and customs booths for pre-inspection and paperwork which will be necessary in England and France if we actually leave? Or are the civil service taking it easy, assuming that the politicians will go easy and it will not be necessary in the end with a craftily designed Brexino and a bit of nudge management? No prizes for guessing.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      @ Agricola

      like the BBC, they are no longer servants of the people and government, but prefer their own agenda,

      Absolutely spot on. All one has to ask is who is writing it?

      All those signed up to Agenda 21 and it’s successor

  12. hans chr iversen
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    We have become more competitive with the fall of the Pound as it has fallen compared to most other major currencies except the dollar.

    However , the fall in the Pound has led to falling purchasing power due to higher inflation and that can unfortunately not compensate the household on £25.000 a year, they are suffering and why, did you not write about them instead?

    Brexit is being paid for by falling purchasing power by the one’s who can afford it the least and that is really the tragedy, the rest John is just not as important as you make it out to be

    • Edward2
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      The recent increases in tax free pay has more than compensated those on 25k from the very small increase in the rate of inflation.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      CPI is now back up close to where it was in 2013, having dropped to zero in early 2015 and then started to rise in late 2015:

      Just looking at the shallow sided valley of the five year curve it’s difficult to judge what would have happened if there had been no EU referendum in June 2016, or if the referendum had given the opposite result, but I would guess that it might now be a little lower, around 2.5% or maybe 2.0%.

      In other words most – two thirds or maybe more – of the ca 3% rise in CPI has had nothing to do with the EU referendum, and it would have happened anyway, as any journalist worth his salt would be at pains to point out.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink


      Please provide a few examples of what people can’t purchase due to your “falling purchasing power” Please provide a real world example of a UK family on £25k who are suffering because of the slight fall in the value of the pound

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink


        The replies could be interesting if they ever surface

        • hans chr iversen
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          I did actually reply but it was not allowed through the moderation.

          thank you

      • hefner
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Not of a UK family on £25k, but of a retired couple who had dreamt of a nice two-week cruise around South-East Asia. Before the referendum, this was possible for £2200 per person (+/- depending on the exact standards of the company providing the cruise). This coming spring (prices advertised in the summer 2017 brochures), the exact same itinerary on the same ships are £2700 (again +/-).
        Strictly speaking, I will not be starving but this is, to me at least, a pretty good example of “falling purchasing power”, in that particular case because of both the falling value of the pound and the fact that ship fuel, port duties, etc are priced in US$.
        Sorry to point out, once again, that you are often wrong.

        • Mancunius
          Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

          Just pay the extra £500 and count your blessings! Such a cruise would have cost far more in inflation-adjusted terms even only 20 years ago.

          Short termism, short memories, short views, short tempers. Dear me, what a spoilt lot some of you are.

          • hefner
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            A rather strange comment given how the cruise industry has grown in these last twenty years and “democratised”, so you are trying to compare apples and oranges.
            Whereas my comment more or less relates to the last 15 months.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          Real hardship, perhaps Help the Aged could make a special grant …

          • hefner
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            I agree with you, no hardship, but one of the usual contributors wanted to get some examples, convinced I am sure that there were no such examples.
            A drop is the value of the pound might be good for exports, certainly not for anybody who has to buy things from abroad: have you tried buying foreign language books from or asking to pay in sterling?

        • libertarian
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink


          Thats hilarious.. … Not being able to cruise SE Asia is causing suffering is it. Is that the new measure of poverty…. Lol you are so funny .

          You are right of course my new Ferrari has also gone up in price… Maybe we need free Ferrari banks to alleviate this poverty .

          Oh and dear heffie try using google, I found some very good cruise deals this year for less than you quote

          • hefner
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            Happy to learn it has brought a smile.

          • hefner
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            including flights?

        • NickC
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          Hefner, The GBP is a floating currency and so is the dollar, euro and yen. They go up and down against each other all the time. Some of the recent fluctuations will be due to Brexit, but some to other factors. In May 2016 the rate was £1 = $1.46, now it’s £1 = $1.33 (less than 10% change) but expected to go above £1 = $1.40. Your cruise price is a near 23% increase. Clearly that’s not just Brexit, or even the exchange rate.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Liberitarian, Hefner and Turboterrier

        I was talking about falling purchasing power not items that could not be bought.

        The following ahs increased more than salary packages

        Transportation/commuting costs
        Communications costs
        Fresh food
        Requests from schools due to falling school budgets
        car prices
        gas and electricity
        (source UK Statistics and EY economic forecasts)
        All more than average salary increases, happy to provide the figures if that is required.
        Leading to an overall inflation of 1.7% more than if we had not had Brexit (source FT)in the past 12 months, but individual price increases on some of the above items have been higher. Figures and facts actually speak for themselves.
        Thank you very much for giving me to opportunity to explain, it makes it so much easier.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          There is no correlation between these things and voting to leave the EU.
          For example gas and electricity prices are driven by demand and added costs of green energy and variations in world oil prices.
          Inflation in Germany and USA is similar to the UK.
          They didn’t have a Brexit vote.

          • hans chr iversen
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink


            Wrong inflation in Germany is half of what it is in the UK stick to the facts

  13. Lifelogic.
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Indeed and this despite the misguided, anti-business, anti tenant, anti growth , anti self employed and anti gig economy, higher taxes and the PC, climate alarmist, red tape spewing agenda of May/Hammond. This plus the very real threat of Corbyn’s Venezuela agenda again thanks to the Tories total lack of positive vision and their total failure to stop throwing money down the drain and cut the state sector down to a sensible size and improve its actual delivery. Where they deliver anything positive at all that is.

    Hopefully by the time we enter the next election we will have ditched May, found some sensible vision and will not have “a vote for me and we will punish you” Manifesto.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      @ LL

      Hopefully by the time we enter the next election we will have ditched May, found some sensible vision and will not have “a vote for me and we will punish you” Manifesto.

      Can or could we be that lucky?

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:52 pm | Permalink


        Also perhaps the Tories can get a grip with social media marketing and get the message across that Corbyn is a gigantic magic money tree fraud who would bankrupt the country.

  14. David
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Some leave voters voted leave hoping that house prices would fall. I am not sure that further rises is a good thing in the long run.

  15. am
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    You missed out on the plus side the record fdi in 2017 which will shew positive results in the years ahead. Also missed out is the change in export destinations away from the eu to the row which can only be for the good as the eu is a declining share of the world economy.
    You missed out on the negative side two things. 1. Is the increase in inflation. 2. The other is the decline in real wages. These are partly related to the decline in the pound and brexit.
    While the negative issues are unwelcome they seem short term. The latter point is all that is left really for the scaremongers who before the vote were predicting on vote leave massive dole queues.

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink


      Is that why we sold more to the EU in 2016 and exports to the rest of the rest of the World actually fell as they also did in August this year and increased to the EU.

      Facts speak better than words

      • NickC
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Hans, The most recent Pink Book (Oct 2017 table 9.1) shows that in 2016 the UK sold about 11% of UK GDP to the EU and about 17% UK GDP to the rest of the world (Rotterdam effect at 4% of exports).

        Facts do speak better than words. You appear to be saying that the UK should give up being an independent country for 11% of our GDP. You can’t be serious.

        • hans chr iversen
          Posted January 4, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          I was talking about the actual rise in trade, you are comparing 140 countries with 28 it does not ahve any relevance

  16. Derek
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    It has been the same since the start of time. The only thing guaranteed about a forecaster’s statement is that it will be wrong. The only thing for debate is how wrong.

  17. margaret
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    As some are convinced that Brexit has brought bad omens and has told us of bad times ahead, I am not sure that these factors which you highlight are due to impending Brexit or whether they would have happened anyway .

    This morning BBC TV tells us that over the last decade 11, 000 houses have remained empty . It did not say why they remained empty. Was it because of high prices , was it because they were in a derelict condition or was it that we are being told a lie and in fact new houses are not needed?

    We now have a good record of employment ( so I am told) so let us see the right jobs going to the qualified people and not those who have either been brought in cheaply or conversely those who are paid very high amounts because of a badly construed argument that we do not have sufficient qualified staff of our own .

  18. TomTomTom
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Of course, they will say “But it’s not happened yet” and will continue to predict doom. One day they will be “right”. But no more right than a stopped clock which accurately predicts the time twice a day.

    What frustrates me is that they predict “negative effects” but fail to acknowledge that if these do arise then the government and its machinery can implement policy to mitigate the impact.

    For example, if unemployment did spike up, we could cut Employers NI.

    In other words, a dynamic economy like the UK will rapidly adjust to the economic realities of the day. Whether those have been caused by or in spite of BREXIT.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      @ TTT

      Very basic logical thinking.

      Ever considered standing for Westminster?

      You ought to.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 3, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Your last paragraph is spot on.

      “The UK labour market is incredibly dynamic, and would adapt quickly to changed relationships with the EU. Prior to the financial crisis, the UK saw on average 4 million jobs created and 3.7 million jobs lost each year – i.e. there is substantial churn of jobs at any given time. Indeed, the annual creation and destruction of jobs is almost exactly the same scale as the estimated 3-4 million jobs that are associated with exports to EU actors.”

    • libertarian
      Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Tom TT

      Exactly, good post. Thank you

  19. Lifelogic
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Essentially most reporters suffer from a lazy group think. They were nearly all in favour of the EU, the ERM and the EURO too and indeed have fallen for the climate alarmist (huge exaggeration of) religion. Far easier to go with the flow and fashion than actually to think things through rationally.

    Still, the more such sheep around then the easier it is to make money taking rational & usually opposite financial positions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Indeed “due to climate change” ………. is the other absurd lazy “BBC think” journalist agenda. Used in the lazy way. Rather the same as the “blame it on Brexit” agenda. Often journalist who do not even so much as understand the term “positive feedback” in the engineering/science sense.

      Has the climate not always changed and always will?

      Still, no statistically significant warming since 2008. The “experts” and their garbage in garbage out computer models are largely discredited. Their “renewable solutions” do not really work economically (not even in CO2 terms). Anyway slightly warmer is clearly rather better on balance.

  20. Iain Moore
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Sorry off topic.

    For Chris Grayling to not defend Government policy on the railways this morning was pretty reprehensible. If you have a Government policy then you should be able to defend it, if you can’t then you should scrap the policy. To start the new year with the Government conceding all the political territory to Corbyn on an issue that effects a lot of voters doesn’t seem like a terribly good strategy.

    I gather there are arguments in favour , like the oft quoted East Coast rail franchise that Corbyn’s lot make out to be the brilliant example of nationalisation, according to the CEO only turned a profit because they stripped out all investment, and the recent failure of that franchise was because the nationalised Network rail had failed to make the proposed investment on which companies had bid for the franchise. But as is usual with the Conservatives you would think this was all a state secret.

    You would also think that the Conservatives are well aware about the line of attack Corbyn’s lot would make, that of in favour of state ownership, and so be well briefed about the failure of our experiment with nationalistion in the 1970s, and be able to knock back these arguments. But again , no, being properly prepared with the argument is all too much like hard work for them.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Privatisation could have worked if we hadn’t stuffed our cities full of people in the interim.

      Commuting from Stabs-Ville has become essential therefore made the railways essential – and overloaded.

    • rose
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      But he was doing his job, trying to get investment for transport from Qatar.

  21. alan jutson
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I really do not understand why the Government continue to use the same sources of information for so called future planning, when they have proved to be so very wrong in the past.

    Has any Government department made correct and reliable forecasts in the last 5 years ?

  22. Bob
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Nigel Farage followed up on the Telegraph’s exposé on the HMRC’s attack on Leave donors by pointing out the obvious attempt by the Electoral Commission to close down UKIP over a donation from a British bookie while turning a blind eye to a much larger donation to the Lib Dems by an expat crook.

    The piece was in the Opinion section of the Telegraph on 31/7.

  23. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    So we have the likes of Cable and Blair together with the other clowns fighting a rearguard action to reverse Brexit.
    Neither liberal or Democrats. Just tired old has beens who think they know better.
    I hope you are going to stay strong against these traitors although I’m not convinced about May.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      It will be necessary to crush them in the Lords. I doubt that anachronistic chamber could survive a referendum on whether it should just be shut down even before the likes of Pannick, Wheatcroft, Adonis and other undeserving legislators-for-life show their love of the EU and their hatred of our national democracy by trying to delay or dilute Brexit. Theresa May should not try to handle them with kid gloves, she should tell them straight that it would be the end of their cosy club.

      • NickC
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Denis, The chance of Theresa May being robust about any aspect of Leave is very remote. I read the start of David Davis’ article in the DT 2nd Jan and its phraseology was straight out of the FCO manual on how to negotiate defeat. I am sorry to say that Mrs May is even more in the hands of Remain apparatchiks that Mr Davis.

    • Hob-surfer
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Cable and Blair are not traitors. They have never believed in anything.

  24. Epikouros
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Silly people say and do silly things and one thing is certain remainers are silly. As sensible people know that forecasting the future with any degree of accuracy is not possible but remainers went ahead and did so with the smugness and arrogance of a know it all.

    Sensible people know that the greatest gift that they can possess is freedom. Freedom to choose what goods and services they wish to purchase. Freedom to choose what laws and rules they will agree to live by. Freedom to go about their lives without interference from those who profess that they know what’s best for them and so should order their lives on their behalf. The freedom to peaceably express their views and opinions.

    Silly people will eschew all that for a promised land of security, peace and prosperity (the fabled land of milk and honey/Eldorado) but whose promises are baseless. Who are those who make these promises? They are progressives, socialists, life choice puritans, the clergy and vested interests. Not forgetting of course the most proficient of them all politicians and their acolytes; bureaucrats, the party faithful who will gull us into creating vast governments with sweeping uncontestable powers. Their crowning glory being the EU. The sensible once they recognise how they have been gulled and shudder at what that they have allowed to be created will work to be free of them only to be vilified by the silly.

  25. Dorothea
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Equally, it would be good if weather forecasters revisited their predictions – half a dozen predictions of dire minus 10C temperatures over the last couple of months for which we still wait. How lucky we are that the experts are confident of the temperature in 2050.

    • Tom
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      It is a bit like being an “expert” in predicting lottery numbers you cannot do it.

      With weather it is not really possible to do accurately beyond a few days. The idea of doing for 100 years hence is absurd. Though at least you are likely to be dead when you are proved wrong.

      • hefner
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Quite a bit of misunderstanding here. Weather forecasters are indeed trying to predict accurately the temperature, wind, precipitation for the coming hours and days at given locations.
        Beyond that, most weather forecast centres now run an “ensemble prediction system” of some sort, where slightly different conditions (recognising the potential inaccuracies in the measurements making the initial analysis (the starting conditions of the forecast) and in the representation of the various physical processes at work (radiative transfer, evaporation, condensation, turbulence, convection, gravity wave, …), plus the fact that the model grid is not infinitesimally small (a few kilometres horizontally, a few hundreds of metres vertically) are run, therefore providing an ensemble of forecasts. These are then used to define things like the probability of having for a given area a given range of temperatures, winds, precipitations.
        This type of “ensemble predictions” provides some interesting information, if not at a point at a given time, but certainly for the south-east of England in the next 10 to 15 days.
        For longer time-scales (years to tens of years), phenomena with slower reaction times (temperature, salinity, acidity of oceans, melting of ice- sheets and glaciers, growth and decay of vegetation, concentration of radiatively active (i.e., greenhouse) gases and aerosols have to be taken into account and that is what the “climate models” are trying to do.
        Again, climate models are now run in “ensemble prediction configuration” trying to account for all known uncertainties. Problem is that there might be other uncertainties (or sometimes full processes) not included (release of methane from permafrost in high latitudes, the role of thinner but more extended sea-ice, role of deep oceanic circulation, …).

        Obviously, this is a tiny bit more complicated, and I would think completely out of scope from most people here. Which obviously does not prevent some here from telling us day after day that nothing has happened since 2008 (because he has read it in this favourite newspaper from his favourite chronicler).

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    The question is the extent to which a particular movement since the referendum merely continues a trend which was already established before the referendum, rather than the movement representing a significant change in the trend since the referendum.

    As far as the external value of sterling is concerned, its downwards trend against the dollar started not at the time of the EU referendum but two years earlier in the summer of 2014, while the downwards trend against the euro started in the summer of 2015, a year before the referendum.

    And in neither case is there any clear sign that something happened in the summer of 2016 which radically changed the already established downwards trend – as can be seen from the charts on page 25 in this recent House of Commons Library report:

    Equally it can be seen from the top chart on the front page of that December report that the economic growth rate peaked at around the beginning of 2014, before the Tories had even gained an overall Commons majority so they could get a government Bill for an EU referendum through Parliament.

    And likewise from the next chart it can be seen that inflation had started to rise in the autumn of 2015, albeit there was a perceptible acceleration after the referendum.

    Obviously it would be wrong to say that the vote to leave the EU has had absolutely no economic effects so far, but looking at the data in the correct perspective of the trends which were already running before the referendum the effects seem slight.

    But just as the economic effects, so-called “benefits”, of EU membership have always been, and still are being, routinely and grossly exaggerated by EU supporters – which previously included the present Prime Minister and most of her Cabinet – so the economic effects of the referendum result are being routinely and grossly exaggerated.

  27. Bert Young
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Who is surprised !. The publicity given to Brexit forecasts was fostered by groups and individuals who were determined to prevent it happening ; some enjoyed direct funding from the EU . Today we can look back and realise that any such utterances now can be taken with a pinch of salt .

    Two Conservative groups numbering approximately 130 have presented their red lines to Theresa ; this has been done at a time when she is about to make changes to her Cabinet and before the next round of negotiations . This pressure is salutary and forceful enough for her to be extremely cautious and to realise that she could easily be forced out . I applaud these moves and sincerely hope it will bring her to adopt a more positive approach in the coming year . Getting rid of Hammond would be great news .

  28. Peter
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    With regard to point one, the rise of the FTSE 100 the BBC now like to say this has little reflection on the British economy as it represents global companies earning in strong foreign currencies in strong overseas markets.

    You can’t win.

    • Warbler
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      If the BBC were a private company, no-one would wish to buy it. That’s why the government has privatised everything but their collective toilet and the BBC.

  29. Prigger
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Personal responsibility.
    These journalists, on TV, are very well connected, intelligent, qualified, skilled. They could complete their contracts, quietly, apply and get other jobs. Ones paying a goodly sum.
    They choose not to.
    We should stop blaming Fake News and start blaming Fake People.

  30. formula57
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    8. BBC Licence fee. Rose on 1 April 2017 to £147 from £145.50 (set in 2010) – and I still do not pay it, despite Brexit.

    • hefner
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      However, 1% inflation over seven years, while the current annual inflation is around 3% makes the licence fee a real deal, don’t you think so?

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      That makes at least 2 of us.

    • NickC
      Posted January 3, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      That makes 3 of us, at least.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    What I still want to know is why the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union cannot be bothered to defend the government’s new official policy of exiting the European Union against constant unjustified and deceitful attacks by anti-democratic elements who hope to overturn or neutralise the referendum result.

    I would also like to know what he really meant by his recent pronouncement that the EU should not try to “cherry pick” parts of its economic relationship with the UK.

    I would like us to “cherry pick” and tell the EU that if it’s to do with trade then we will make sure that the small minority of UK based companies which export to the EU will always conform to all the EU requirements that relate to imports into the EU, but only those who export to the EU and only those requirements which relate to trade.

    By my estimation that would give the UK as a whole about 97% freedom from EU law, with the less than 3% residue only impeding those who want to export to the EU – they could licensed to do so – who must therefore meet the EU’s requirements – which could be made a strict condition for their licence:

    It is simply not necessary for 100% of EU law to apply to 100% of the UK and its economy in order to avoid the need for border checks on our exports of goods to the EU, including our exports to the Irish Republic; it is only necessary for the UK Parliament to pass and rigorously enforce laws to make sure that our goods exports will be no less acceptable to the EU than they are now while we are in the EU.

    • agricola
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Para 1.
      Possibly he does not rate their argument very highly.
      Para 2.
      Probably means they will not be allowed to deal with trade matters generously that they wish no impediment to. ie:- cars, but put obstacles in the way of those matters where they wish to avoid our expertise. ie:- financial services.
      Para 3.
      Suppliers always conform to the market they are trading with, I call it keeping the customer happy.
      Last Para.
      The only reason we are turning EU law with which we comply into UK law is that it simplifies the transition. How we change, abandon or keep this law is down to the people via Parliament.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Para 1.
        Maybe, but he should ask how others might be affected by those arguments. At least Steve Baker seems to be answering back from time to time, but there needs to be a dedicated team to grind the Remoaners into the dust.
        Para 2.
        I imagine that could be what he meant, and he would be right, but the most important change must be that the small EU export tail should no longer be allowed to wag the whole of the UK economic dog.
        Para 3.
        Well, clearly that is not always true, which is why we have both trading standards and the means of enforcing them, why countries may insist on checking imports at their borders, and why we presently have UK laws to avoid the need for such checks on our exports to the rest of the EU.
        Last Para.
        Well, the government and the media keep saying that we are turning EU law into UK law but the reality is that all EU law which is applicable to the UK under the EU treaties is ALREADY part of UK law through the action of the ECA72 and other UK legislation, and all that is being done now is to give that EU law a new legal basis in UK law. As you say, it is just to provide a smooth transition, and later those laws can be gradually changed.

  32. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, your case seems to be: there were no negative effects from Brexit and the “experts” predicting those were wrong.

    You might have mentioned that Brexit did not happen yet and that the effects that were predicted have yet to manifest themselves (if ever). There are very few intellectually respectable predictions about the outcomes of brexit (one being the recent RAND/MIT study) for the simple reason that the government “of the day” is making it very hard to to identify the new status quo that will set in after new agreements with the EU and the rest of the world too, not to forget. Three things are of paramount importance: nature of future trading relationship (tariffs but also scope and non-tariff measures), timing of the cahnge (“implementation”) and especially, degree of cooperation on the part of the EU27. For the time being, the EU is extremely cooperative, possibly to prevent the political knife-edge situation in the UK to evolve into one where either some of your friends facilitate (as an expert on Asian economic development, I tend to be very sceptical about the UK population’s suitability for a “Singapore model”) an ersatz Asian Tiger or some of your ennemies go for Socialism in One Country, also not likely to succeed with Britons as raw material.

    So we will have to wait and see. Maybe you should put your clients’ money where your mouth is? But someone else said that already.

    • Warbler
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      I’m doing very well since the Brexit vote. My British shares have risen. My British company shares with high investment in America have just had a massive bonus with free money from the astute Mr Trump and a wonderful year since he became America’s only proper President for quite some time. It is just the moaning of Remoaners that lowers the tone. They should live in Catalonia instead of here.

    • NickC
      Posted January 3, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Rien, No one, not even Rand or MIT, can see the future. Especially the complex interactions consequent upon Brexit in a fairly free market like the UK. Really the EU is less important to us than the rest of the world. And both are far less important than our domestic economy.

      We already export to the rest of the world using the WTO trade rules. There is no reason why we should not continue to trade with the EU under WTO rules. If we used the WTO regime, as the EU is also obliged to do when we become independent, then all we would “lose” is the benefit of zero tariffs into the EU.

      I do not see that as a problem because the EU sells much more to us than we sell to them (c£318bn vs £214bn), so for similar tariff levels we would be quids in. And if we lower and simplify the complex EU tariff structure we would lower prices to the consumer, and improve efficiency, whilst still overall off-setting EU tariffs.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 4, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        And the overall economic effect of moving to WTO rules would be slight:

        “So in no way does that calculated $47 billion figure represent the likely overall effect on our economy, which would be only a fraction of that and quite possibly positive rather than negative, but even if it was taken as being a loss of GDP the next point to note is that UK GDP is about $2700 billion and $47 billion is only 1.7% of that.”

        But it is hard for those who maintained for years that EU membership was hugely beneficial to our economy to admit that was not actually true.

  33. Posted January 2, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Project Fear was such fun tho’ wasn’t it?
    The more it went on the more ridiculous it got.

    You forgot to mention that World War III was to start if we voted Brexit. That hasn’t happened either…

  34. Andy
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Awww. You don’t like Brexit being blamed? Get used to it.

    Let’s look at the actual facts:

    1) Prices up significantly because of the Brexit related currency collapse.
    2) Wages not rising as fast, making us all poorer.
    3) Employment growth in low wage jobs, well paid ones have gone.
    4) Business investment has collapsed.
    5) FDI has dried up
    6) UK has gone from being one of the fastest to one of the slowest growing major economies.
    7) FTSE rise great for rich investors, does nothing for Doris from Grimsby.

    Remember how you spent 30+ years blaming the EU for everything? Yup. This is now payback time. Really – if you are already upset at how you are having to defend your divisive Brexit project you haven’t got a hope of winning in by end. Grow a pair, get some stamina – if you want any hope of winning the war. For that’s what it is. A war between progressive internationalists and nasty Little Englanders.

    Reply Not many facts in this diatribe! Do try producing some numbers from reputable sources. You are wrong on wages, jobs, FDI and growth

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Yes, JR, but why do you so often prefer to publish such juvenile garbage? Is it just because you think it may show up some of your opponents for what they are, nasty ignorant little loudmouths, or is there another more subtle reason?

      • alan jutson
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink


        Very happy to see such posts such as Andy’s, as it shows that many people still remain unconvinced that leaving the EU is for the better good in the long run.

        It shows that the Leave camp have failed to get their message and FACTS across, and therefore much is still to be done to counter the rubbish that is being produced by those who wish to Remain.

        Those Mp’s who still push out remain rubbish should be ashamed of themselves, but they are desperate and actually believe their own lies, which is a real problem which leavers have to overcome with the TRUTH.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Newmania. I can smell it.

        He just can’t resist a dig at the little people. He embodies the elitist Islington spirit and was digging the little people long before Brexit… indeed, he caused it.

      • stred
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        I took time to answer some total tripe he was writing about renewable solar and tidal energy before Christmas and included reference websites. The tripe went out while my effort was moderated until dead. No wonder Pandy never learns any facts.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Love it Denis!!

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Andy – A big thank you to you and to your fellow snowflakes for all the years of hard work and taxation payments that lie ahead of you just to pay for my pension et. al. I will think of you as I drink my next glass of champagne.

      Keep up the good work and enjoy the many years of toil to come!

    • Warbler
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      There must be many clouds and cuckoos in the land in which you live Andy

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Andy, as usual you are wrong on most counts.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Ian Wraggyou really need to provide facts and figures for your arguments instead of your rather uninformed opinions an ideas

    • Edward2
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      If Doris from Grimsby has a pension or life insurance or even some investments of her own she will be better off by the rise in the stock market.
      Not impressed by your discrimination and class snobbery towards females from the north.
      But it chimes with the sneering attitude of metropolitan lefties towards ordinary people from outside the M25.

    • DaveM
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Your posts get more ridiculous by the day Andy. Please do keep posting – makes me laugh every time.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink


      Oh dear not a correct statement amongst any of that , Your knowledge of jobs market is zero ( its my field of professional expertise)

    • Richard1
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      JR is right to point out that all the great scares of Project Fear have proven complete rubbish. Sterling took a bigger hit in the great Labour crash and recession but I don’t recall all the pro EU types complaining that poorer people were suffering a loss of purchasing power?

      • Richard1
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        This post was meant to be a response to Hans Christian Iversen above.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Brexit has not happened yet. The lower growth, pressure on real wages and lower foreign direct investment that you can see are simply part of expectations. Compare the UK’s statistics with Germany or Holland over the psot-referendum period.

        • Richard1
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

          Well Project Fear claimed it would be the vote not Brexit itself which would trigger economic Armeggedon. I suppose like a stopped clock, the doomsayers will be right at some point! Germany is doing well – but v much at the expense of the rest of the euro zone. Big surpluses in Germany and 40-50% youth unemployment in southern Europe. Not a great result. What’s holding back the UK now isn’t brexit it’s the threat of a Marxist government.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

            An interesting point of view. At least you agree the UK is not doing as well (relatively speaking) as it might have . Marxist government would certainly reduce my investment appetite..

            Pse do not confuse me with a doctrinaire “remainer”. My view has been ,for a long time, that UK membership of the EU would have to evolve or cease and that the latter would be more painful , the longer UK stayed in the EU. I have no counterfactuals of a UK having adopted the EUR or a few other opt outs (Schengen is merely symbolic) and you will agree that it was polically irresponsible of the Blair government (along with many other faults) to not use the option to implement the mobility aspect of the Single market judiciously, as many continental countries did. Now there is an abundance of E.European tradespeople working in the UK that will most likely move to better paying markets on the continent. A double whammy: important irritant favouring UKIP once, maybe leading to Cameron’s lapse into a referendum and in the coming years leading perhaps to acute labour shortages that may have to be filled from other foreign reservoirs. Ukrainian? Pakistani?.

            But the very simple fact is that the UK is not now keeping up with comparable economies and that while the UK is still part of the Single Market.

          • NickC
            Posted January 3, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            Rien, You appear oblivious to economic cycles. As has been shown elsewhere on this post, and by JR on other posts, most of the variations of most of the variables are due to factors other than Brexit.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          If you have any good evidence for lower foreign direct investment into the UK as a result of the vote to leave the EU then provide it.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted January 4, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

            I can show you lower foreign direct investment but of course not causality linked to brexit. That is a rather devious question. However many surveys show that existing FDI providers (car makers, large investment banks etc) are cautious, are making preparations for a brexit that does not suit them and especially the Japanese are concerned. The point that I try to make is that the current output etc statistics relate to a world in which brexit is not reality yet but where expectations are influenced by large uncertainty. If Britain does the right thing (from an incumbent foreign investor’s point of view) there should be no effect. If it does not onse should expect a negative response. Is that difficult?

    • Richard1
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      The tone of this post illustrates why Remain lost.

      • Andy
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        Ultimately I do not care that Brexit will make nearly all of you poorer. I do not care that some of you will lose your jobs. I do not care that your children and grandchildren will miss out on opportunities because of your misguided vote.

        I suspect, however, that you will ultimately care very much about these things. And having moved to the political extremes already I fear where, politically, you all go next. Somewhere very dark I suspect.

        Reply IN the year and a half since the vote which Remain said would do damage jobs and earnings are up!

        • Richard1
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          Again your contemptious tone betrays a fanatical attitude which must have encouraged so many Leave voters to vote as they did. There is no evidence at all for your claims. Many of the 160 or so countries which are not in the EU are very prosperous – and show much faster growth than those in the EU. Remain and Continuity Remain have never been able to explain why a country has to be in the EU to be prosperous. What matters is policy.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          “And having moved to the political extremes already I fear where, politically, you all go next. Somewhere very dark I suspect.”

          What “political extremes”? You’re the extremist, you’re the one who wants to see us swallowed up in a pan-continental federation. You’re damn lucky that thanks to your despised elders and their antecedents we’re a tolerant society and you’re not on trial for treason.

    • Andy
      Posted January 3, 2018 at 1:09 am | Permalink

      You can read ONS figures for yourself if you choose – it’d make a change from the Daily Express – or is the ONS among the experts you avoid?

      The fact is that the more the extreme Brexiteers deny that there has already been a huge negative impact from Brexit the more out of touch and unhinged they look.

      Ultimately the people who will be hardest hit by Brexit are predominantly those who voted for it. You are going to have a lot of explaining to do Mr Redwood.

      Reply You have failed to show the alleged negative consequences because they are not there in the figures.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        Show us ONS figures, then, don’t just repeat whatever unsubstantiated rubbish may be circulating among your eurofederalist clique at school.

    • hans chr iversen
      Posted January 3, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink


      using sources that a interpreted correctly coming from you ia actually a bit of a laugh John

      • NickC
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        Hans, No, your using few if any sources to justify your demand that we become merely an offshore island in the bureaucratic form of a resurrected Roman Empire is a bit of a laugh. Hans.

        • hans chr iversen
          Posted January 4, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink


          Grow up and face the facts I have provided all teh facts required in this conversation if you had read all the mails. Can I recommend book for you “Doing business after Brexit, A Practical Guide to teh Legal Changes”. Read my chapter as well, you will find very informative.

          It might make you look beyond the Roman Empiere

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted January 7, 2018 at 1:14 am | Permalink


      try this link below for your intellectual education…..lots of facts and figures for you to mull over…..enjoy….or not?

  35. Wakey-waKEY!!!
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    We should see the difference between confrontational journalism shock-jockey journalism overtly partisan coverage individual non-professional man-in-the -pub comments on social media and, ……..what the BBC pretends to do and be.
    Our country is not the Soviet Union. The BBC is surplus to our requirements as a nation and people.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      You must be alternating the Express and Breitbart

  36. ferdinand
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I wish it was that easy to persuade Remainers to read the facts. They do not wish to hear anything that contests their privileged viewpoint.

    • TotalGuardianReader
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Have a heart, many of them have only got up to “Words Beginning With P “in their remedial classes

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      What facts?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Facts given to you here, day after day, which you choose to ignore. Not that is really of any legitimate concern for (someone ed) like yourself.

        • hefner
          Posted January 6, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          Sorry Denis, but apart from you and an extremely tiny number of contributors, almost nobody presents facts with proper references. Even JR’s daily contribution is a bit dry in that respect. ( I notice that recently you are very often referring to our own previous comments, which do not always include references).

          There are people here who seem convinced that their preferred “Daily something” presents facts, so they regurgitate these “facts” here without seemingly realising these might just be opinions, absolutely unable to quote any proper document by this or that think tank, institution, or whatever source that would corroborate or not that opinion.

          The other trend is the “comical” trend, you know the “waf waf, do I laugh at how stupid you are” kind of comment, which more often than not simply show the void between the two ears of the “distinguished” person proferring the comment.

          This blog has become a fish bowl, and I am not sure it is full of very edible fish. The funnier bit is that from time to time one of fish in a state of advanced decrepitude ask for other fish with minority opinions to shut up or not show up.

  37. nigel seymour
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I prefer it when John deals in bullet points as these get the salient points across. When I was in business, lengthy bull shit prevailed and wasted my journey and my time. Look forward to lot’s more bullet points…

    • Earwig
      Posted January 3, 2018 at 1:10 am | Permalink

      CEOs should be denied things to read. They spend from early morning until lunchtime moaning “Do you know I have to read emails until 12 noon from 7am? Better to give them little recorded clips which they can play to themselves via earplugs an get on with some useful work for once. Too many CEOs are bone idle.

      • hefner
        Posted January 6, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, they should follow Donald J. ‘s example.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted January 7, 2018 at 1:15 am | Permalink

        I object to this comment!… we are not!

  38. Mancunius
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Another favourite ploy of the remain-agenda agents is simply to bluster that ‘the country’s economy has already seen a decline in growth/wealth because of Brexit’ – and to hope that the unenlightened will give it credence without asking themselves where the firm evidence might be. This ‘narrative’ is oftened combined with the ‘cuts’ myth to attempt to stir up a general sense of resentment: not very difficult, as many really do now believe that ‘free stuff’ should be coming their way but isn’t – in a sort of latter-day cargo cult.
    The BBC should be more strictly held to account for so liberally hiring these siren voices to fill up its over-long news programmes. And (what about ed) George Osborne for stuffing his worthless metropolitan freesheet with them.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Unbelievable that the inhabitant of N011 in a Conservative government could be the editor of a journal that reads like The Guardian.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Dear Anon–It may help to remember that it wasn’t a Conservative government in any meaningful sense

        • Lifelogic.
          Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          Hammond and May are just as socialist perhaps more so. It still is essentially a dire New Labour Party in policy terms.

      • TotalGuardianReader
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        It was very brave of you reading The Guardian, it is purpose built for Local Authority staff, top level, with all the time in the world to read the long yawning articles…have lunch and still have lots left…job adverts to advance their reclining positions in reading Saturday and weekend newspapers at work on the Monday

  39. margaret howard
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    House prices up is good? For whom? The millions of young people (mostly Remain voters) who will never be able to own their own homes? An affordable place to live in is a necessity not a luxury investment. The only winners in that game are greedy foreign speculators who are allowed to buy up desperately needed apartments.

  40. hefner
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I hope we will soon get JR’s thoughts on the state (in particular financial) of the railways. He should know quite a bit having been in the loop when those were privatised.
    Train companies are telling us the >3% hike in prices is necessary for improving the system. What have all the companies, in private hands since 1 January 1994, being doing over all these years.
    Just for fun, (I know that it has to be taken in the context of the fall in its share price, but) the dividend served by FirstGroup (First Great Western, running through Reading) is 17%.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Dear hefner–I must say that I do give thanks to God that I do not have to commute in to the City any longer but, that said, the latest complaints on Rail fares do seem a trifle overdone–Is a rise of 3% so very silly when inflation is at 3%?? Doesn’t seem so to me, which is not to say that I think Rail privatisation was a good thing, rather the opposite–In fact I lack the courage to go by Rail these days with all the baloney buying a ticket. And why haven’t those high tech ticket machines and entry and exit “pig pens” not produced any benefit that I have been able to detect, especially not on prices? Instead we get little hope of advice from a human being when we want it.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted January 2, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Massive queues at Gatwick for the machines often too. As many visitors simply cannot work them very well.

        • stred
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

          When we went through Gatwick last time no-one could work the boarding pass machine. We went to the check- in queue and asked for a pass. The staff assistant went to the machine and couldn’t work it either. They went behind the old desk and produced a pass in seconds.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          Agree LL. I never buy my ticket from a machine because I cannot fathom them out half the time. I buy mine in advance from my local railway station. Much easier except when the drivers decide to go on strike and then my ticket is worthless. Trying to claim back half the ticket price would put my blood pressure up too much to be bothered.

      • TotalGuardianReader
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        I hope railways are nationalised. It serves all those people right who when interviewed by reporters say they would be in favour of it.
        These people have access to books. I know because I’ve seen libraries and bookshops in towns where they have homes. So it does serve them right.

        Corbyn of course knows nationalisation does not work. Tories should abstain from voting if Corbyn gets into power unless he signs and agreement to personally refund all lost tax-payers money. He is too old and well-educated to believe in all that socialist rubbish and he has confessed he can read. I saw him on TV confessing.He has no excuse. I bet there is a library in Islington too.

    • 37/6
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink


      I read the Daily Mail report on price rises for season tickets on five routes. Assuming commuters work 240 days a year here are the new prices:

      Birmingham – Euston 17.5p a mile
      Coventry – Euston 18.23p a mile
      Swindon – Paddington 22.6p a mile
      Stoke – Milton Keynes 13.7p a mile
      Dover Priory to London 17p a mile

      Route speeds possibly 100 to 125mph.

      I look jealously at the Continent where rail users can around for a fraction of a penny per mile. I don’t know how they do it. Clearly there must be massive state subsidies.

      • Tom
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Massive state subsidies in the UK too but still cost the earth.

    • Andy
      Posted January 3, 2018 at 1:15 am | Permalink

      The Tories have destroyed the railways. They will be majorly punished at the ballot box in London and the SE as a result.

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Andy – Oh how I sincerely hope that you are a daily rail commuter!

      • Ladybug
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        May be. But there is no-one else to vote for except the Tories. Other parties are silly.

        • hefner
          Posted January 3, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          But for which part of the Conservative Party, for its Europhilic or its Europhobic part? What is really common between the (at least) two wings of the party, apart from a desire to keep the public at large from most decisions given that the MPs are representatives and not delegates of the people.
          So my MP of thirty years will go on obstructing any legislation tending to somewhat relax the law related to end-of-life procedures, and will not be called to explain himself on that particular question, when at the last count more than 70 percent of the population would support relaxing this law.

      • NickC
        Posted January 3, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The railways are largely nationalised. Government owned Network Rail (on the PSBR) owns and operates almost the entire UK network and infrastructure: rails, signalling, civils, buildings, shops, etc. Only the trains are privately run now and that is a very small part of the whole value.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 3, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Do you really want to get us started on the privatisation of our railways, and whether or not it even had to be done under EU legislation, and if so whether it really had to be done as it was done, and whether HS2 is a continuation of that unwarranted and unwelcome EU interference … ?

      If you choose you can read one of my comments on this from 2011, here:

      The one that starts in a light and satirical vein with:

      “It’s quite ridiculous the way some people jump to the conclusion that the EU must have a hand in this.

      OK, so the EU is involved with some policy areas, but only the 30-odd listed here.”

      But ends with a more irritable tone:

      “In any case, even if the EU is contributing to the formation of transport policy in the UK, it’s far too late to start objecting to that now, a decade after the Commission issued its first ten-year action plan, two decades after Council Directive 91/440/EEC of 29 July 1991 “on the development of the Community’s railways” – that’s like “the Community’s postal services” – and nearly four decades now since Parliament agreed that we would gradually stop running our own country and let a consortium of foreigners do that for us.”

      Which constitutional innovation was of course welcomed by some, a minority.

  41. miami.mode
    Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    BBC4 are re-running Andrew Marr’s Making of Modern Britain and tonight mentioned how in the very early part of the last century Joseph Chamberlain, in the face of growing industrial might in Germany and the USA, wanted Imperial Preference so that Britain supplied the Empire and charged tariffs on goods from the outside world thus protecting our industrial base. It was pointed out by the Free Traders how this would impact on cheaper food coming from the rest of the world and would therefore hit the poorest the hardest.

    This led to splits in the ruling Conservative party against the Free Traders and eventually led to the downfall of the Balfour government in 1906.

    Doubtless Chamberlain would have found some satisfaction within the EU.

    Plus ca change….

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page